Swimming the Thames – Daily Diary Entry – Day 01

I have recently completed a 137 mile swim down the Thames from Lechlade to Putney Bridge. As I was unable to post regularly here on wordpress I chose to write my daily blog posts on facebook during the trip. I will do a full write up of the experience in the coming days, but thought it would be nice to put these daily posts up.

I did the swim to raise £5000 for Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Helen and Douglas House – please consider donating – https://www.justgiving.com/teams/ThamesSwim2016.

BLOG POST – DAY 01 – 13.13.2016

9:00 AM – And I am bloody off! The last 6 months have flown by, but at 9am today I started swimming the River Thames towards London.
I feel as prepared as I can, but in all honesty sometimes you just have to jump in at the deep end (or shallow end in this case) and just give it a go.
Will I make it? Who knows, but I will give it my absolute all.
If you want to join me for a section – walking, swimming or kayaking, then take a look at the route and the live tracker below. Hopefully I will be on schedule, but check for updates.

10:09am – Going for a later start today as its a shorter day. Getting used to packing the kayak and the routine. Campsite is lovely and shout out to Rough Grounds farm in or lechlade for letting us stay for 3 nights for free. Wooo, can’t wait to get in the water.

11:40 AM – Almost off…. We forgot the paddle! 20 mins and counting….


4:19 PM – Day 01 done. Went a bit further to Grafton lock as there was nowhere to get out at the church. (If you’re reading this Dave and Jim I’ll be in touch later with directions). Water feels good! Suprisingly warm. Beautiful few hours swimming. Everything worked well. Pace was a bit faster than planned, may need to slow down. Full round up of the day to come later.

11:09PM – Day 01 – Lechlade to Grafton Lock – 8.5ish km

The last week was a mixture of anxiety and stress and I manically tried to get last minute preparations, kit , logistics and sponsorship together. I felt frazzled.

This morning was amazing. All that anxiety from planning dissapated and pre swim nerves had gone. The stressfull stuff was out the way, and I felt strangely calm as I was getting changed in the pub car park. I felt a bit ridiculous donning a wetsuit about to get in the Thames though.

It was a shorter day, so we decided to start at 11am and get used the packing the car, the Kayak and the general routine. We actually went a bit further than planned at there was no where to get out at the church. So did sound 8.5 km to Grafton lock, where we met some friendly lock keepers and had a shower.

The sun was shining, the water felt surprisingly warm (which obviously I was very pleased with), and me and josh managed to swim and kayak side by side nicely… Although I can’t hear a thing… Need a whistle.

Thanks Josh and dad for being excellent navigators and helpers, I wouldn’t be able to do this without them.

I can’t think of a better way I could have spent today. Drifting along at river level, gazing off into the reeds below me, seeing the odd boat and duck bob by, watching pedestrians stop and point and also being fed every 30 minutes. There’s a few things still to iron out, but as a first run its all good.

This is the shortest day of the trip, the water is clean in this section, and the weather was good… I’m in no realisation that the rest of the trip will be exactly like this… But, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to take it a day at a time, a day that is split into 30 minute intervals, with one arm moving in front of the other.

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